Universalis
Saturday 28 March 2015    (other days)
Saturday of the 5th week of Lent

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


INTRODUCTION
O God, come to our aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.

Hymn
Lord, who throughout these forty days
for us didst fast and pray,
teach us with thee to mourn our sins,
and close by thee to stay.
As thou with Satan didst contend
and didst the victory win,
O give us strength in thee to fight,
in thee to conquer sin.
As thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
so teach us, gracious Lord,
to die to self, and chiefly live
by thy most holy word.
And through these days of penitence,
and through thy Passiontide,
yea, evermore in life and death,
Jesus, with us abide.
Abide with us, that so, this life
of suffering overpast,
an Easter of unending joy
we may attain at last.

Psalm 104 (105)
The Lord is faithful to his promises
Sing to the Lord; tell all his wonderful works.
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name;
  proclaim his works among the peoples.
Sing and make music to him
  and reflect on all the wonders he has performed.
Glory in his holy name,
  let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord in his power,
  always seek his face.
Remember the wonders he performed,
  his miracles and the judgements he has uttered.
Seed of Abraham, his servants,
  children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
The Lord himself is our God,
  his rule extends over the whole earth.
He has always remembered his covenant,
  that he made to last a thousand generations,
the agreement he made with Abraham,
  the oath he swore to Isaac.
He made it a decree for Jacob,
  an eternal covenant for Israel, saying
“I will give you Canaan
  and measure it out as your inheritance.”
Although they were few in number,
  a handful of wanderers,
although they were travelling from nation to nation,
  from one kingdom to another,
he let no harm come to them,
  he rebuked kings in their defence:
“do not touch my anointed ones,
  do no harm to my prophets.”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Sing to the Lord; tell all his wonderful works.

Psalm 104 (105)
The Lord did not forget the just man who was sold as a slave: he released him from the power of sinful men.
The Lord called down famine upon the land, he ground away every stick of bread.
He had sent a man to them, Joseph, and he was sold as a slave.
They confined his feet in fetters and put a ring around his neck –
until the Lord’s word came, the Lord spoke and justified him.
The king sent for him and released him – the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He set him to rule over his house, made him lord of all his possessions,
so that he could make the princes as wise as himself and teach wisdom to the elders.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Lord did not forget the just man who was sold as a slave: he released him from the power of sinful men.

Psalm 104 (105)
The Lord remembered his holy word, and he brought out his people with joy.
And so Israel passed into Egypt
  and Jacob lived in the country of Ham.
The Lord made his people grow enormously
  and strengthened them against their enemies.
Then he turned the hearts of men against his chosen people,
  so that they hated them and made plots against them.
He sent Moses, his servant,
  and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
He made them prophesy
  the signs and prodigies he would work in the land of Ham.
He sent shadows and darkness,
  but they would not listen to his words.
He turned their rivers into blood,
  killing all the fish.
Frogs ate up the earth,
  even in the secret gardens of the palaces.
He summoned flies
  and insects throughout the land.
He sent stones of hail and fire
  to devastate their land.
He struck their vines and their fig-trees,
  broke down the trees of their country.
He spoke, and locusts came,
  and worms without number:
they ate all the grain of the land,
  consumed all of the fruit.
He struck down the first-born of their land,
  the flower of all their strength.
He led his people out with silver and gold;
  not a single one of them stumbled.
Egypt rejoiced to see them go,
  to see the last of the people they feared.
He sent a cloud to protect them,
  and fire to light up their nights.
He led out his people in exultation,
  his chosen ones in gladness.
He gave them the territory of the nations,
  the fruits of the labours of the peoples.
All this he did
  so that they would keep his decrees
  and follow his laws.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Lord remembered his holy word, and he brought out his people with joy.

He who lives by the truth comes to the light
and whatever he does is seen by all.

First ReadingHebrews 8:1-13 ©
The great point of all that we have said is that we have a high priest of exactly this kind. He has his place at the right of the throne of divine Majesty in the heavens, and he is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tent of Meeting which the Lord, and not any man, set up. It is the duty of every high priest to offer gifts and sacrifices, and so this one too must have something to offer. In fact, if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are others who make the offerings laid down by the Law and these only maintain the service of a model or a reflection of the heavenly realities. For Moses, when he had the Tent to build, was warned by God who said: See that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.
  We have seen that he has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises. If that first covenant had been without a fault, there would have been no need for a second one to replace it. And in fact God does find fault with them; he says:
See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –
when I will establish a new covenant
with the House of Israel and the House of Judah,
but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors
on the day I took them by the hand
to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
They abandoned that covenant of mine,
and so I on my side deserted them. It is the Lord who speaks.
No, this is the covenant I will make
with the House of Israel
when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks.
I will put my laws into their minds
and write them on their hearts.
Then I will be their God
and they shall be my people.
There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour,
or brother to say to brother,
‘Learn to know the Lord.’
No, they will all know me,
the least no less than the greatest,
since I will forgive their iniquities
and never call their sins to mind.
By speaking of a new covenant, he implies that the first one is already old. Now anything old only gets more antiquated until in the end it disappears.
Responsory
We have a high priest whose place is at the right of the throne of divine Majesty in the heavens; and he is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tent of Meeting, so that he may appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf.
Christ has entered not a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on a real one, but heaven itself, so that he may appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf.

Second Reading
From a homily by Saint Gregory Nazianzen
We are soon going to share in the Passover
We are soon going to share in the Passover, and although we still do so only in a symbolic way, the symbolism already has more clarity than it possessed in former times because, under the law, the Passover was, if I may dare to say so, only a symbol of a symbol. Before long, however, when the Word drinks the new wine with us in the kingdom of his Father, we shall be keeping the Passover in a yet more perfect way, and with deeper understanding. He will then reveal to us and make clear what he has so far only partially disclosed. For this wine, so familiar to us now, is eternally new.
  It is for us to learn what this drinking is, and for him to teach us. He has to communicate this knowledge to his disciples, because teaching is food, even for the teacher.
  So let us take our part in the Passover prescribed by the law, not in a literal way, but according to the teaching of the Gospel; not in an imperfect way, but perfectly; not only for a time, but eternally. Let us regard as our home the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly one; the city glorified by angels, not the one laid waste by armies. We are not required to sacrifice young bulls or rams, beasts with horns and hoofs that are more dead than alive and devoid of feeling; but instead, let us join the choirs of angels in offering God upon his heavenly altar a sacrifice of praise. We must now pass through the first veil and approach the second, turning our eyes toward the Holy of Holies. I will say more: we must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honouring his blood by shedding our own. We must be ready to be crucified.
  If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up your cross and follow Christ. If you are crucified beside him like one of the thieves, now, like the good thief, acknowledge your God. For your sake, and because of your sin, Christ himself was regarded as a sinner; for his sake, therefore, you must cease to sin. Worship him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself. Derive some benefit from the very shame; purchase salvation with your death. Enter paradise with Jesus, and discover how far you have fallen. Contemplate the glories there, and leave the other scoffing thief to die outside in his blasphemy.
  If you are a Joseph of Arimathea, go to the one who ordered his crucifixion, and ask for Christ’s body. Make your own the expiation for the sins of the whole world. If you are a Nicodemus, like the man who worshipped God by night, bring spices and prepare Christ’s body for burial. If you are one of the Marys, or Salome, or Joanna, weep in the early morning. Be the first to see the stone rolled back, and even the angels perhaps, and Jesus himself.
Responsory
Jesus suffered outside the gate to sanctify the people with his own blood. Let us go to him, then, outside the camp, and share his degradation.
In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to know fighting to the point of death. Let us go to him, then, outside the camp, and share his degradation.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  at all times you are working out the salvation of man,
  but now more especially you enrich your people with grace.
Look kindly on this people:
  keep the seal of baptism inviolate in those who have received it
  and in those who still await their rebirth in the Spirit.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation. The Grail translation of the psalms, which is used liturgically in most of the English-speaking world, cannot be displayed on the Web for copyright reasons. The Universalis downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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